I have a saying in that there’s no such thing as quality time, there’s just time. Coffee mug no less. Often gets quizzical faces. The concept is that if you only think about quality time, you’re missing out on all the rest. And the rest is often the best part.
The best conversations I have with my wife aren’t set up at a pre-ordained time, they are off the cuff. Getting my kids to open up isn’t based on perfect conditions, it’s just all of a sudden the verbal diarrhea comes out and you need to stop what you’re doing.
That said, it’s not about sitting on the couch and expecting these moments to just happen. Serendipity happens when you’re doing something else after all. With a whole bunch of time on my plate with work on hold for the past few weeks, I opted to pick up some new activities. I wrote earlier about Ghost of Tsushima (get it!), but there’s a lot of hours in a day. (Side note, one of the symptoms I have is severe exhaustion.)
In March, my wife picked up a pile of paint by numbers to tide the ways. We didn’t really pick it up then, but I certainly did in September. I have some good memories of it as a child, but it’s certainly more complex today, what with better paint, brushes, and technical knowledge. We have a few different brands, and I have to say that Reeves is by far the best one. Paint is solid, the brushes are quality, and the art itself is nice. I’ll have a shot up once I’m done my panda. I’d say I have about 20 hours or so in it now. It’s good to just sit, have a coffee, and have a chat with people around the table.
Spurred by a friend who dropped off a care package, we finally purchased an ice cream attachment to our KitchenAid stand mixer. I really love baking, and ice cream making is pretty close to it. It took a few tries, but I found a recipe that provides a consistent base to build from. Gave a shot at some chocolate peppermint, and some vanilla butterscotch batches, and I am more than impressed. The challenge is in making the stuff last. It puts a smile on the face of everyone who eats it, so it’s certainly worth the time.
Exercise is also a key fact of life for me. With the inability to play/coach hockey, I still need to move. This summer was incredibly hectic with cottage repairs and way too much office work. I started up again (and dropped alcohol for September) to kick start the metabolism. I have a good program that I follow, swap a few things here and there. Less than an hour and I’m done the set. Doing this while my kids are around has them doing some too. Wife has gotten back on it as well. Nothing to do with getting big, but all to do about feeling good. Being able to shoot some hoops with the kids, pick them up, dance a bit. I love games, but there’s a time and place for them too.
So the month of September was all about taking time to do things I enjoy, and sharing that with others. And conversely, taking time to do things others enjoy. For all the negatives that September has brought, it’s also brought a whole lot of good. Thankful for that.